Postgraduate student and Otorhinolaryngology (ENT) Registrar, Dr Reshna Mungar, won the Registrar Prize for the best oral presentation at the 2016 International ENT Congress in Durban.
‘I am excited for UKZN’s ENT Department and honoured to be recognised among my colleagues,’ said Mungar, who presented her research titled: “Scope of ENT Amongst Primary Care Physicians in KZN”, to fellow ENT practitioners across South Africa as well as international guests.
According to Mungar, the ENT department is inundated with referrals of patients from all over the province. ‘My research creates awareness about ENT among the medical community. ENT is an under represented speciality because there is a lack of understanding of its scope.’
She said her department was the third largest surgical discipline internationally along with General Surgery Trauma and Orthopaedics. ‘Almost 20% of GP consults are related to ENT conditions and a further 50% are paediatric related. My perceptions of ENT changed when I joined as a Registrar because I was made aware of the pathology and expertise involved,’ explained Mungar.
Her presentation created awareness about the scope of ENT in KwaZulu-Natal. ‘I provided an overview of the perceptions of the importance of ENT training in general practice. I described the ENT symptoms, conditions and emergencies encountered by private GPs and primary providers - interns, community service officers and medical officers – at the Department of Health in KwaZulu-Natal. I correlated years of experience with referrals to ENT and/or discipline specific referrals,’ said Mungar.
Mungar’s study provided insight to the ENT pathology seen by doctors. She said the information would assist the ENT Department to provide workshops or training for interested doctors. ‘By empowering our doctors we equip them to treat and manage the vast ENT pathology seen in those unreachable rural areas and also prevent delays in referrals. We have also launched ENT-KZN CARES (Client Access and Referral Expansion Service) to help with swifter referrals and management,’ she said.
Mungar is currently doing her MMed, ‘As a Registrar I value my teachers and consultants and would aspire to be as influential as they have been in my career.’ Her future plans include being involved in the health care system transformation within government hospitals, providing free and adequate medical services to the impoverished.
The Durban-born doctor is married with two daughters aged 7 and 4. ‘My children inspire me to make a difference.’
The head of the ENT Department, Dr Yougan Saman, congratulated Mungar on winning the registrar prize for the best oral presentation at the Congress, ‘This is extremely great news and she has made us all very proud,’ said Saman.